Flame Bearers: Pathways to Paris

The 2024 Olympics and Paralympics are approaching. Over 7000 women will be competing and right now they’re in the final stretch of preparation. Throug…
Aug 21st, 2023 | 21:15

Special Edition: U.S. Soccer Originals (Cindy Gordon)

*Content Warning: This episode includes stories of sexual abuse. This production contains material of a highly sensitive nature including stories of sexual grooming and manipulation that may be triggering. Resources provided below.* Cindy remembers going to her brothers' soccer games to watch. "They didn't have girls soccer then, and I was dying to play... I remember standing on the sidelines thinking, 'Oh, well, maybe somebody will get hurt and they won't have enough players and the coach will look over and say, you. Girl. You look like you could play. Do you want to join?'" That never happened. But Title IX did, and then there was a girls team. Cindy immediately signed up. And from the start, soccer was clearly Cindy's game, as sister, Valerie describes Cindy as the "sporty tomboy." While Cindy went on to break countless records and play on the first USWNT, her story isn't only one of success. Her story is also one of suffering, warning, and solidarity. Cindy's youth soccer coach sexually abused her. When asked if she's comfortable sharing, she thoughtfully replies, "Of course it's uncomfortable, but I feel it's really important to share because I think that's another epidemic: sexual abuse of female athletes." In this episode, Cindy shares what she wants the world to hear. Contributing experts include Amy Carnell (Cindy''s friend and survivor, sexual abuse) and Valerie (Cindy's sister). RESOURCES ON SEXUAL GROOMING: -Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN)'s Warning Signs of Sexual Grooming: https://www.rainn.org/news/grooming-know-warning-signs -RAINN'S 24/7 sexual assault hotline: https://www.rainn.org/resources -Overview from the American Bar Association on Understanding Sexual Grooming in Child Abuse Cases: https://www.americanbar.org/groups/public_interest/child_law/resources/child_law_practiceonline/child_law_practice/vol-34/november-2015/understanding-sexual-grooming-in-child-abuse-cases/ -Victim Support: https://www.victimsupport.org.uk/you-co/types-crime/sex-crimes/grooming/ Media used in this production: -38 years after making history, first USWNT to be honored at Asheville City regular season finale, Chris Womack, June 29th 2023, -The Forgotten Early History of Women’s Soccer, Laurent Dubois, January 22, 2016 -ESPN YouTube Channel, 'USWNT win the Arthur Ashe Award for Courage | 2023 ESPYS (📍 @CapitalOne)'